Tonight Alive’s Limitless and All my 2016 Drama

I said I would only blog about local songs and bands, but right now I just can’t help but write about Tonight Alive. The new year has just started so I’m still feeling nostalgic and sentimental. Personally, 2016 was so challenging and Tonight Alive is one of the bands who got me through the year.

In 2016, my father retired from work because of his health condition, my best friend went abroad for good, and someone who I treated like a sister turned out to be the worst friend in the world. Everything that happened carved big holes in my heart. I felt I died multiple times. I know I’m being a super drama queen here but it’s true, I’m never going to be the same again after 2016. I think no one will ever be the same again if they found out that their father has Alzheimers, or that their closest friend is spreading rumors about them and their family for months, or that their soul’s other half is going away and they’ll never gonna see each other for at least two years. Even I am not strong enough for all that.

Tonight Alive has always sung out my feelings for me. They wrote songs that perfectly capture the situations I’m in. Their newest album, Limitless, is a different record. I didn’t appreciate it the first time I heard it. But this year, when everything happened, all I can cling onto was this album. I kept playing The Greatest for hours, days!

The album talks about facing problems headstrong and getting over each one of them with grace. I didn’t appreciate the record the first time I heard it because I didn’t understand it. Before, I didn’t know what it’s like to become a better person by being able to overcome life’s challenges. All I know is getting over boys and being a strong woman by being independently single all the time. I thought I’m already being strong by being that. After my 2016 hurdles, I realized that there is more to life than breakups. I hold my true friends and family tighter and closer to my heart; “I am happiest when I’m surrounded by the best of my friends and that’s as simple as it gets”

Sawi Playlist #1

I have always turned to music for every feeling my heart has ever felt. Having depended on music for coping in every situation, I have curated some songs that I always go to in times of extreme emotions. Sometimes, I become super invested in certain relationships that I find it hard to think of anything else.  To prevent myself from going crazy, I seek help from my favorite artists. This playlist is full of songs that have saved me from me over and over again. I hope you can also find songs that speak  to you on so many levels. All of the songs below are performed by local artists.

Happier This Way by Save Me Hollywood

I WAS AN OBSESSED SMH FAN SINCE I WAS IN COLLEGE. They still haven’t released an album when I first heard of SMH, so when they finally did I became a crazed kid in a toy store.  I watch all their shows and I even bought some band merch. This song became my favorite since the first time I heard it. I was overcoming a lot of things that time so Happier This Way became an anthem for me. 2014 was the year for moving on and new beginnings. Charot.

Absence of Understanding by Drive Me to Juliet

I had a toxic relationship with a guy who doesn’t know how to make a decision for us and for himself. It was hard but I managed to muster the strength to walk away from that relationship. This song represents how much I wanted him to make it okay for us when he clearly can’t. That boy was the most selfish person I’ve ever known. But meh, he out and I’m super okay now.

Martyr by Estrella

I think the title of this song explains why I like it. Haha. I don’t like labeling myself as “martir” but my god I’m the most martir when it comes to dealing with people and relationships. I always try to find the good in any situation. Sometimes it helps but most of the time it’s just something that prevents me from seeing the true colors of people I choose as friends or partners. This song describes how it feels to be a hopeless romantic. It also talks about how to finally say NO when a relationship becomes one-sided. Also, watch out for changing  tempos. Lavet.

Smiley by Now You Make Me Angry

I can still recall it clearly. It was a sunny day in Ortigas when I decided to walk along Emerald Ave. I think I walked from Ortigas Ave. to Julia Vargas twice while listening to Smiley on repeat. I was just feeling super sad that day and I can’t focus on any work. Maybe you can try it too; just walk aimlessly with a sad song playing on your ear pods. It helped me clear out some issues I’ve been having with myself.

Nakaw Tingin by RedLightGo!

I hate to admit it by I know what it feels like to be in the friend zone. It’s almost funny how terrible this situation is.  I know from the start that I can never be more than a friend to this guy I was with but the things we did still make me feel things I shouldn’t. Haha. I’m over it now and I’m not one bit regretful but when I was in the situation, It was torture.  Nakaw Tingin is the perfect song for all the hopia feelings you may have.

Hinga ng Malalim by Silent Sanctuary

This song is the reason why I became an avid fan of this band. I was in a very dark and low point in my life before where all I do is cry and hide in my room. I spent most of my teenage years crying over dumb boys, fake friends, and bad guys who take away all sense of safety and innocence from people. I didn’t really know how to deal with all my problems before so sometimes I would cry for hours. Hinga ng Malalim randomly played in the background while I’m in one of those terrible nights of crying. I usually can’t listen and think clearly when I start crying, but this night was different.  Hearing the lyrics of this song made me stop and think that things in my life can be better.

Indie Hugot Song: Sakin Ka Lang by RedLightGo! (Single Review)

Hola, chicos and chicas! If you have not seen it yet, please take a moment from your busy day to watch RedLightGo’s latest video, Sakin Ka Lang. Our favorite pogi band recently released a lyric video featuring the studio version of the song and it’s pretty cool. I asked the band who wrote the song and Migs De Guzman (bassist), being his unsure self, said that it was Remar Sabangan (vocals) who wrote the lyrics to this song.

Sakin Ka Lang is definitely a hugot song. It is bitter, sweet, and tragic; it’s everything we look for when searching for songs to sing along to when hurt, broken, or jaded. When asked about the inspiration of the lyric, Remar indulged by recounting a possessive relationship he had with an ex-girlfriend. Just like his past relationship, he described the song as complicated.

“Magulo sya eh, kasi nga tungkol sa magulo at miserableng relasyon. Mag-aaway, mag-hihiwalay, mag-babati, tapos mag aaway ulit.”

He recalled that the phrase ‘sakin ka lang’ is what he and his ex used to say to each other despite of all the issues they have. It’s so cheesy and romantic, right? It is also so screwed up and demented. However, I still think that it’s tragically beautiful; to stay with that one person no matter how complicated it gets. (I will not apologize for that sudden emo moment hahah)

Nico Bacani, the band’s epic guitarist/backup vocals, says he was with Remar when this song was written. They may or may not be high (with love) at the time.

RLG’s take on relationships is mature, realistic, and straight to the point. This is my favorite thing about them and this is also the reason why you should listen to their songs and come to their shows.

They released an EP last year and it is full of youthful hymns just like Sakin Ka Lang. Everyone will definitely find a song they can relate to.

Their EP, NIGHTLIFE, is a combination of pop, rock, punk, and alternative. Even the most conservative chica will find a song she will like from this record.

For latest RLG updates, follow the band’s Facebook page (link below!) Or just check my timeline; I sometimes drive them to their shows. (Hahaha charot, because I’m a fan )

Here’s the video!

Who’s who:
Remar Sabangan – vocals
Adrian Balagot – guitar
Migs De Guzman – bass
Niko Tolipas – drums
Nico Bacani – guitar

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/redlightgokids/
Twitter: @_redlightgo

Photos Courtesy of RLG

Now You Make Me Angry: Anger Management (Album Review)

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Now You Make Me Angry is a local rock/pop punk/easycore band based in Malolos, Bulacan. Their fans fondly call the band, NYMMA. Last year, this group of stomping young men released their second EP entitled Anger Management. The EP features an album artwork as well as seven tracks, all independently produced including fan-favorite “When She Turned 18”.

The video of the song has reached more than 9,000 views since its online release last May 2016.

The release of this sophomore album has been anticipated by fans right from the start of last year. When the boys released the record over summer, everyone on the scene knew it’ll be the soundtrack of the season. With heart-pumping songs, angsty lyrics, and a solid concept,  Anger Management easily captured their fans’ hearts.

Music Analysis

Anger Management won’t disappoint easycore fans. Every track in this record has that raw and upbeat feel that we look for from punk albums. Riffs are sweeping, tempo is fast, and vocals are sharp. With a record as energetic as Anger Management, there’s no wonder why every show performed by this band is wild and spot-on.

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Photo Courtesy of D. Danguilan

Something that makes NYMMA stand out from a lineup is their unique sound enhanced by a synthesizer. A lot of tracks from this album contains great synth riffs. This characteristic is one of the things I like about NYMMA. Former synth player Topher Bocalig put amazing, almost lyrical riffs over every track.  For me, Every Good Boy Does Fine and Presenting: The Intergalactic Dance Showdown are the tracks that have the most notable synth riffs off the album.

Lyrical Overview

Song lyrics has always been a lucky charm and  a deal breaker for me. Luckily, NYMMA, despite having a post-hardcore sound accompanied by dominating unclean vocals, still manages to put across tender emotions with their closing-doors-I-think-we-belong-together lyrics. I think that is also the reason why they have so many female fans (not that I’m stereotyping ok, I’m a girl too!).

Voice, Tone, and Feel

While “anger” is definitely the persona I get from the unclean vocals, reason, remorse, and romance are what I’m sensing from the clean vocals courtesy of Jef Roxas.  I think that was the “management” part of the album.

One that hits right in the kokoro is Isn’t It Obvious. I ain’t gonna lie, this is my favorite. It may or may not be true that I teared up when I heard this song for the first time on my way to work. I just love the bridge; how hopeful and so looking forward it is, both lyrically and melodically.

The only thing that we can’t find when listening to Anger Management is the acoustic emo ballad we love so very much. But being named this way, I think we shouldn’t be really expecting calm and soothing songs; though I would love to hear the songs in an acoustic set. That’ll certainly put the lyrics and melody up front, two things I love about NYMMA songs.

Wrap Up: Overall Effect

Overall, I think Anger Management is just the right record to put out this time of their career. All the songs in the album are great for shows whether in bars or concert grounds. The choruses are easy to chant, intros are catchy, and everything is good for drunken bar sing-alongs.

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Photo Courtesy of D. Danguilan

Album Re-release

Six months after the original launch, NYMMA re-releases Anger Management after working on the record with Yellow Room Music, an independent recording label owned by Mayonnaise frontman Monty Macalino. Yellow Room Music reeled in a reprint of the record that brought about better and cooler packaging with the same album art featuring a young boy throwing his red scooter midair.

“Being signed by Yellow Room is one of the biggest things that ever happened to the band. It’s every band’s dream to be a part of a record label. Although Yellow Room Music didn’t really affect how the first few months of Anger Management would sell, because we met Sir Monty Macalino six months after the release of Anger Management, those who didn’t have the chance to grab a copy of the first issue were lucky to own the rad looking CD courtesy of Yellow Room Music,” said front man Jef Roxas.

For the original launch of the EP, the band toured around bars in Metro Manila and Bulacan respectively. Kicking it off in Selda Dos at Visayas Ave. and trailblazing the whole thing back to their hometown. A handful of loyal friends and supporters followed the tour faithfully; screaming their lungs off and sweating like pigs at every show.

New Label: Bigger Stage, Different Crowd

The addition of Yellow Room Music in the mix changed the playing grounds for NYMMA. Upon releasing the repackaged album with the label, they were suddenly brought into some of the label’s shows, in bigger venues and  in front of much mature music fans. NYMMA, being the young and passionate band as they are, took this change as a challenge.

Jef said “the label’s main impact to us is bringing us to shows where the people are different. No kids. The “hypeman approach” ain’t effective to them. They just love to watch and appreciate. Which is kinda challenging for us given that we are an energetic band. And that gives us a big room for growth.”

Nick Automatic, a local lifestyle store, invited NYMMA to co-headline a series of bar shows for the store’s annual sponsored music festival, Threadfest, following the re-release of Anger Management. It was another venue where the band showed how strong they are in their chosen genre and where loyal fans demonstrate their allegiance by rampaging and singing along to every NYMMA song.

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Photo Courtesy of D. Danguilan

At the close of 2015, NYMMA performed at the Move Stage of Rakrakan Festival.

Upcoming Gigs

They are poised to play at the upcoming Breakdown Music Festival happening on October 22 at B-Side: The Collective with Typecast, The Chongkeys, and other bands.

Anger Management Track List:

  1. JAGJAGARAG!

2. Don’t Get Me Wrong But I Think This isn’t Right

3. When She Turned 18

4. Every Good Boy Does Fine

5. This is the End

6. Presenting: The Intergalactic Dance Showdown

7. Isn’t It Obvious

Also:

Check out this cover, love it!

Band Members:

Jef Roxas – Guitars/Vocals

Aaron Roxas – Bass/Vocals

Aaron Torres – Drums

Dustin Danguilan – Guitars

Francis Alden Mallo – Unclean Vocals

Alexis De Mesa – Synth

Sobrang In-Love Bar Tour

I am flaking, crumbling, melting. Everytime I listen to music I keep forgetting that I am tough. It’s like my body is unlearning every strength, every endurance I have. I am no longer the loud and opinionated lighthouse. I become the most random floater in the middle of a turbulent and calm sea. The music turns me upside down and calms me to tears, at the same time.

 

Catching Feelings

they say to feel pain is to be human and you make me feel just that

I know it’s not love but it’s something close

i just want to feel something 

even if it’s wrecking I’ll be betting


when we started kissing 

I know something in me is ageing

It’s not for real but it is so exciting 

we’re just friends and that’s how it’s ending 

 



When you say you can’t make it

I’ll be okay I can fake it 

Everytime you ignore me 

I’ll be shitting myself baby



In the darkness you are my light

In this storm you are the raincloud

Tonight you are my high

Even if it’s just pretend I’ll bring the thunder

Im giving it all out



I never wanna be sober 

If everytime we get drunk you love me a little better

I dont trust you but I have faith in you

You cant deny you are feeling this too



When you say you can’t make it

I’ll be okay I can fake it 

Everytime you ignore me 

I’ll be shitting myself baby



In the darkness you are my light

In this storm you are the raincloud

Tonight you are my high

Even if it’s just pretend I’ll bring the thunder

Im giving it all out



You think I dont feel but He knows this is real

Everyday I pray that you will choose to stay

cause when you walk away I wont have the strength to say

That from the start I have loved you

im just too fucked up to not play your game